tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN March 11, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EST
who make the work of the council on foreign relations possible. there is no one world view at the council. there is no particular agenda that the council has other than to try to contribute to a reasoned debate about the nature of, american foreign of and the future of international affairs. we hope the work we're doing contributes ideas to the marketplace. and we have to have a healthy discussion. there is no agenda of the kind you suggest. host: the future of nato is happening on the c-span website. hostc-span3 ♪ ♪
prayer for healing we pray for the healing of aids in this nation and across the globe. this devastating epidemic does not discriminate and people of any gender, age, ethnicity, income or sexual orientation can and are contacting this disease. help us, lord, to improve the lives of those living with hiv-aids and enable us to spread resources, awareness and hope to communities around the world to fight this aggressive virus. in good times and bad, in sickness and health we find compassion in you, o lord, and seek your healing now and always. amen.
the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the chamber her approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from florida, congresswoman ros-lehtinen. ms. ros-lehtinen: if the visitors could rise and join us in the pledge to our nation's flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. the speaker: madam secretary. the secretary: the senate has passed the business army disarmament in northern uganda recovery act of 2009 in which the concurrence of the house is requested.
the speaker: thank you. the chair will entertain up to 10 one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from arizona rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection. ms. giffords: 125 years ago tomorrow, the 13th territorial legislature in arizona, we were a territory at that time, authorized the establishment of the university of arizona. and since that date in 1885 the u.n.a. has remained a steadfast dedication to building beater arizona and a better future. the u.n.a. is a testament of land grant universities established across the country, and for over 100 years they have led to being the most important drivers for research and innovation that has powered our nation's economy. the u.n.a. today continues to be at the forefront of that research, whether it's mapping
the genome, using advanced on particulars to utilize the power of the sun. they understand the strength is in the diversity of its students. i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring and recognizing the university of arizona. congratulations, president shelton, and to everyone associated with the u of a. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. ros-lehtinen: today i rise to honor phyllis odres, orange bowl committee. phyllis has offered outstanding public service to miami-dade for the past 25 years. she served on numerous community boards and has been active in several community arts organizations. she's also been recognized for
her you a truistic work many times, receiving an award from the greater miami chamber of congress, the united way of miami-dade. phyllis' strong professional background and her commitment to serving others made her the ideal candidate to chair the prestigious orange bowl committee. she became the second woman in 100 years to chair a college bowl game. phyllis, on behalf of all of south florida and the united states congress, congratulations on this achievement. thank you for what you have done to make our community a much better place. thank you, phyllis. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. arcuri: thank you, mr. speaker. during these tough economic times, american families have been forced to cut back and tighten their financial belts. it's time that congress do the
same and set an example for the rest of the federal government. that is why i have introduced the congressional belt tightening act of 2010 which would cut our salaries as members of congress and our office budgets by 5% next year. last year my office tightened its financial belt and returned more than 8% of our official office budget to the treasury for deficit reduction. additionally, we should pass legislation that requires votes on pay raises every year, no more automatic pay raises. my bill would require an up or down vote on all salary increases indefinitely. if the members think they are deserving of a pay raise they will have to vote on it or answer to the american people. congress cannot be seriously talk about reining in spending in washington and work to decrease our nation's debt if we are not willing to do it ourselves. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, freedom of speech continues to be shouted down by the politically correct police. in the netherlands it's against the law to say something that offends someone else's religion. that's why a dutch lawmaker is on trial for hurting people's feelings. he made a movie about terrorists and radical islamic clerics encouraging violence in the name of hate. now, he's on trial for insulting islam. he's charged with discrimination and incitement to hatred because dutch law -- under dutch law it's intolerant of intolerance. the dutch courts say even true insult speech is a crime. seems like law is the protector of radicals. he brings the world's attention the danger of radicals of hateful violence and gets in trouble for it. he ought to be commended rather than condemned for a crime. a free people won't tolerate
intolerance for freedom for very long, and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from pennsylvania rise? mrs. dahlkemper: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. dahlkemper: this month is woman's history month. yet after nine decades, the united states ranks only 74th out of 187 countries for the percentage of women in federal legislature. with only 17% of -- as members of congress that are female. in my home state of pennsylvania, only 14% of the general assembly are women. for women's history month, i'd like to recognize the women of my district who serve in the pennsylvania general assembly. state senators jane earl, jane claire horry and state representative michelle brooks, donna and kathy. i am proud that so many women represent pennsylvania in
harrisburg from western pennsylvania, and it's my hope that women in pennsylvania and across this country will be inspired to seek office at the local, state and federal level and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: mr. speaker, here are the results of a new investors business daily public opinion poll about health care, and if you look at the chart right here you'll see those results. asked if congress should pass the current health care bill or start over, respondents said start fresh by a 2-1 ratio by 61% to 32% start over. for independents, the split was 65% to only 24%. on using the budget reconciliation process to circumvent a senate filibuster to help pass the bill, 51% were opposed and 35% in favor.
independents dislike the idea by 57% to 29% with 39% opposing it strongly. by 41% to 27%, americans were more likely to oppose than support lawmakers who voted for the current health care reform bill. the american people are right. congress should listen, start over and do it right. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. baca: blue cross in my district has requested to raising the premiums by 39%. if we do nothing, the american people will continue to pay higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs now and in the future. and the insurance companies will continue to control the high cost of health care. a step-by-step approach is not enough, and it's not the answer. especially for the 219,000
families in my district without coverage, and that also face 14% unemployment rate. health care reform holds the insurance companies accountable , ends discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, cuts interventionly, closes the doughnut holes, expands coverage for 31 million americans who don't have health coverage, cuts the national deficit by $100 billion over the next 10 years. health care reform must make health insurance more affordable, providing the largest middle-class cut for insurance in history, helping small business owners. i ask you to support health care. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont rise? mr. welch: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to mark the 100th anniversary of the long trail in vermont and to honor the
green mountain club for creating, maintaining and preserving this national treasure. founded in march 11, 1910, by james p. taylor, the green mountain club has been dedicated to in taylor's words, makes the vermont mountains play a larger part in the life of the people. in the past century, taylor's dream has become a reality as seasoned hikers and novists alike have taken to the trail, traversing the peeks and valleys of vermont. from massachusetts to canada, they hiked the spine of the green mountains, some for a day and some for the length of the 273-mile beautiful trail. and in the process they've gained an appreciation for the glory of vermont and the importance of stewardship and conservation. i commend members of the green mountain club, and i wish them another 100 years of success. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. yarmuth: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one
minute. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, yesterday jewish hospital in my hometown of louisville, kentucky, was forced to lay off 250 workers and planned to eliminate 200 jobs. these hard workers who played by the rules and through no fault of their own must figure out a new way to provide for their family. here's the reasons, quote, with 900,000 kentuckyians now without health insurance, we are having a declining volume and increasing levels of uncompensated care. to my colleagues who say that health care should be scrapped, i urge you to note this tragic situation and understand health care is all about jobs and the economy. to my senator and constituent, mitch mcconnell, who keeps saying we should start over and take our time, your constituents and mine, senator, are the ones who are now starting over. louisville is anything but alone in this crisis, and the unemployed workers in my community are far from the only casualties of this failed
system. i urge my colleagues to directly address our struggling economy and high unemployment without delay by working together to reform our broken health care system. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. sires: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sires: mr. speaker, during the 111th congress, democrats have taken numerous steps to restore our fiscal health. job creation is important. we passed the american recovery and reinvestment act which will save or create 1.3 million jobs annually. we passed the american clean energy and security act which will create millions of jobs and also provide skill training for workers. we passed the jobs on main street act out of the house which has targeted investment for job training, small businesses, affordable housing, school ren ovation, hiring teachers and much more. at the very beginning of this session, the american recovery
and reinvestment act was signed into law, and this legislation has saved or created nearly two million jobs. the recovery act was the largest middle-class cut in history and has helped to provide over 300,000 jobs in the education sector. as the weather gets warmer, thousands of infrastructure jobs will be created through the recovery act fund to build bridges, roads and rails. additionally, community health centers around the country have been created through the act funding. i ask all my friends to continue to support job creation. 7 c16 c13 the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. titus: thank you, mr. speaker. as you know the people in southern nevada have been hit hard during these tough economic times, caused largely by unbridled corporate greed
and complicit government actions during eight years of the bush administration. we have the highest foreclosure rate in the country, second highest unemployment rate, and we are one of the highest states for rates of uninsured. people are struggling every day just to keep body and soul together. but do the insurance companies care? no. no, they don't. they continue to raise premiums up 39% in some states, while making record profits and handing out obscene bonuses. they finance thousands of lobbyists to come to the hill to argue against meaningful reform, and they brag about the millions that they are spending on television and radio ads that are filled with lies and distortions aimed at confusing and scaring the people, especially seniors. so i ask the folks in district three and beyond, next time you see or hear one of those ads on tv or the radio, ask yourself, are the insurance companies concerned more about you or more about protecting and growing their bottom line?
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker, mr. speaker, as we have heard this morning in the last month this country has been subjected to jaw dropping increases of health insurance rates, 39% in california, over 20% in the state of connecticut. small businesses and the self-employed are being asked to make a choice between jobs and paying for health care. it is not just limited to small businesses. school districts are now putting to the their school budgets, getting increases in the state of connecticut, 14% increase in coventry, 21% in plainfield. for school districts who cannot afford their budgets because of the bad economy, they are now going to be forced with making choices between laying off teachers, closing schools, forcing our kids into higher school classrooms, or paying
for health insurance. for those who say start over, the insurance companies aren't going to start over. these school districts have to make decisions now and it is time for this congress to make a decision now to reform our health care system, protect our school districts, and help small businesses who are getting killed with these rate increases. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. conyers: mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on judiciary, i call up house resolution 1031 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 170, house resolution 1031, resolved, that g. thomas porteous jr., a judge of the united states district court for the eastern district of louisiana is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the
senate. articles of impeachment depicted by the house of representatives of the united states of america in the name of itself and all of the people of the united states of america against g. thomas porteous jr., a judge in the united states district court for the eastern district of louisiana, and maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors. article 1, g. thomas porteous jr. while a federal judge for the united states district court for the eastern district of louisiana engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incot patsible of the confidence placed in him as a judge as follows. judge porteous while presiding as the united states district judge versus will jaberg enterprises denied a motion to recuse himself against the case despite the fact he had a financial relationship with the law firm which had entered the
case to represent jalberg and in clear cannons of judicial ethics he failed to disclose that beginning in or about late 1980 while he was a state court judge in a 24th judicial district court in the state of louisiana he engaged in a corrupt scheme with attorneys, jacobs amato jr. and robert prely, whereby the judge appointed amotta's law partner as cure rators in hundreds of cases and thereafter requested and accepted from amato and greeley a portion of the fee i which had been paid to the firm. during the period of this scheme the fees received by amato and he greeley amounted to approximately $40,000 and the amounts paid to judge porteous amounted to approximately $20,000. the judge also made intentionally misleading statements at a hearing intended to minimize the extent of his personal relationship
with the two attorneys. and so doing and in failing to disclose to life mark and its counsel, the true circumstances ever his relationship with the amato and greeley law firm. judge porteous -- mr. conyers: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be considered as read. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to suspending the reading? without objection, the reading is dispensed with. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- >> i ask for a call of the house. >> without objection, the call of the house is ordered. members will record their presence by electronic device. members will have 15 minutes to record their presence. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the
care reform. as you can imagine, he has been very much involved in the debate. guest: thank you. host: this morning we have been all over the top rita. house democrats looking at this to pass obamacare without a vote on senate bill. this will be hard to understand for people on our end of washington, but what exactly is this concern in healthcare? guest: if they do not feel like their members to pass the bill, they will go round the rules and
possibly the rules committee. i would not support that approach. i think that the bill is too important to the american people to do it in a way that the american people are not comfortable with. already we have a pretty partisan divide. we're going through the reconciliation process which is inappropriate use of reconciliation. now when you start to hear about using little-known rules in maneuvers that have not used on things like this in the past, it will make it difficult to have public support. host: two pieces in today's paper that conflict. first headlines from the ap and the philadelphia paper. democrats say that agreements are near on health overhaul. then, the gentleman we know well in this town -- is looking at numbers and congressional districts. he asked if nancy pelosi can get
the votes? he says the democratic bedrock is smaller than the republican better was four years ago even the democrats have 31 more members. he says it is because democratic voters tend to be bunched and relatively few districts. as a result, more than 40 house democrats represent districts which john mccain carried. he says it will be hard with all these statistics to get the number needed to pass. your district -- even though you one, john mccain carried it.
guest: yes, he won by 11 points. i voted no on the house bill in november. anyone who votes yes now after having voted no, will have to explain. this is a very different bill. the former mandate is out. the income tax increase is out. the public option is not part of it, but the political dynamic is key. four members of the house who voted for the bill in november are not going to vote for this time -- three have left the house, including murtha passed away, and the congressman from louisiana who voted for the will not this time -- ride from the beginning there is a minus four. districts are very much opposed. it will be hard to find people who are willing to vote yes this
time after having voted no before host: some people from the tea party came to talk with you. they came away thinking that you are a yes vote on this. guest: i think i would be doing my constituents a disservice to say that i a am voting for it, no matter what you have to say. i am in listening mode. i an not going to pre-judge the issue. i want to represent my constituents. i had 50 or 60 come to see me yesterday. they wanted me to say that i would agree 100% with them, but i want to hear from everyone. then i will cast my vote. host: i will open the phone lines. what is most important from a pragmatic standpoint for you? guest: cost containment.
there are three aspects in you cannot do one without the other. bring it down the cost of insurance through no pre- existing conditions, it cannot drop you when you get sick, cannot do lifetime or annual caps for people with chronic diseases -- on the other side you have coverage, getting more into the system to spread out the risk pool. but the house bill was very silent on cost containment, bringing down the cost for those who have it now. families and businesses, and for governments at every level. if you do not, we have missed a great opportunity. the senate bill is much improved. we could do more. at least it is addressing all three factors together. host: what we have learned is that the major components of cost our demographics, aging baby boomers, and technology.
how the proposed to control those? guest: delivery system reforms. right now we have a fee-for- service system. every time someone goes to the doctor, a procedure or test is ordered or run, dr. makes more money. you get seven different bills, one from the radiologists, dr., a surgeon, anesthesiologist. it has not encouraged working together as a team. if we did, it would increase quality of care and bring down costs. we should reimburse based on the quality, not the quantity. those are the changes that we need to make. host: as another component, do believe there is need for attention to medicare fraud? guest: i think that the
reconciliation package will have strong language. the senator from oklahoma has been a leader. my understanding is that his language will be incorporated into the reconciliation package. host: tell me what the funds are like in your office now? guest: we hear from both sides. i'm hearing more about this by far than from any other issue. it is uniquely personal to everyone. so, i'm hearing personal stories about how the insurance system has not work for people. i am hearing from people wheeled met with yesterday were concerned about the role of government and what they perceive to be intrusive nature of the bill. i am hearing lots of questions. what is the truth? can you walk me through the bill? i have been evenly split district, six counties in the western pennsylvania, three along the ohio town near the old steel town, the rest belt area.
those areas have fallen on hard times. then i have three counties that are the no. suburbs of pittsburg that are high-tech, more affluent. it is politically a toss up at the start. on any big political issue i will hear from both sides. host: how about age? guest: i have more medicare beneficiaries anthen all but three other districts in the country. host: how does that affect your view? guest: it is very important. when you have many medicare beneficiaries of have to be accountable for my vote on that policy. this will hopefully have an effect in bringing down the cost ofw medicare costhat i hear about is a 40% rate increase that beneficiaries in my district got in 2009, followed by a 45% increase in 2010. back-to-back years of more than 40%. that is not sustainable.
we must do reform, but do it right. host: this is grace on the democrats' line from pennsylvania. caller: my comment for you is, in every industrialized country in the world they have healthcare. our jobs have been shipped to china who backs every industry and provides health care for every person in the country. why not here? you are from a rust belt area? your manufacturing jobs are now in china. you have to go to china to get a nuclear reactor for use here. guest: the caller hits on an issue dealing with our global competitiveness as relates to health care. our health care costs are higher than anywhere else in the world. it does hurt our competitiveness across the board, especially for manufacturing. i fundamentally believe that we
have the best health-care system anywhere in the world. yes, there are things that need to be fixed. it costs way too much. that is the biggest problem. there is problem with access. once you are in the system we have the best medical innovation with technology and research far exceeding anything else available anywhere. the dilemma is to preserve what works and fix what does not. host: boston, tim, on the independent line. caller: good morning, congressman. we were once a great nation, the nation of laws, not legislation. if it does not promote equality and legal justice -- it is only the tyranny of the majority and social engineering.
we pass more rules, legislate everything all the time. we're less able to master of our own life, liberty, property. if government controls health care, it will be the ultimate power grab. the idea of government containing costs is almost laughable. guest: i hear your concern time and time again, most of which is based on the house health care bill. the house did have a more intrusive role for government then we should have been considering, in my opinion. at this time many of those issues have been resolved. with regard to cost containment in proposing to change the delivery system without government intrusion, but to allow providers to work together., to together so that we can have the private market, not the government work
to improve the quality of care. the doctor makes more money the sickert that you are. the incentive is to keep you well and out of the system. that would change the cost going forward. host: here is more from the ap article. several officials said democrats were likely to impose a new payroll tax of as much as 2.9% on investment and dividend income earned by wealthy taxpayers. what is the definition of what the taxpayers? guest: $200,000 for individuals, to under $50,000 for families. it is not one of the things that i enter about. i think we could have achieved savings we need to cover people within the current health-care system. i said it from the beginning.
you examine where the inefficiencies are. we have a $2.50 trillion healthcare system. we can squeeze out waste and find savings. whenever the dollar amount is, that is and how many people that you can govern. so, i am not thrilled with any of the revenue raisedrs. it is part of the discussion i'm having with my constituents. i think we can cover people, but to do by squeezing out the waste. host: [reading] guest: economists will argue that is the way to bring down costs because those plans lead to over-utilization of the system. these are the folks on wall street with cadillac plans. everything is free. you can go to the spa, have the
doctor come to your office. all that is covered with no premiums, no co-pays. most would agree that you are free to have that, but economists would argue that if you put a tax limitation on that, employers will scale back on that and will put that back into wages. the revenue derived from that is through taxes paid on increased wages. i'm not thrilled with that policy, but that is what economists would argue. host: next, we're hearing from charles in nashville. caller: i am a republican. i did not vote for obama. i will look for obama at this time. give me one second to tell you why. . .
removed from the system by paid for. please vote for obama. guest: you asked about the phone calls we are getting, and i am hearing a lot like that. people want change. host:. on the democratic line. caller: i appreciate what you have to say. i am concerned about the tyranny of the insurance companies. if i might give you some anecdotal evidence my daughter had a pre-existing condition when she was born, and we had to sue the insurance company to pay the bills. we are going to have to drop her from our policy this year due to the tyranny of the insurance company which says after age
25, we cannot pay for her insurance. the least cost from the company that will give her coverage is $18,000 a year. it would be nice to have a philosophical discussion on what the insurance companies will do and where the money will come from, but how does a 25-year- old, who is paying $18,000 a year for health care continue to work and produced for the country? the simple fact is, the weasels in congress are only interested in protecting their jobs and insurance while the rest of us twist ourselves on the backwaters. we get up and go to work every day, just like you, that it seems to me that all of you weasels in congress are only
i hear stories from people in my district, and through the same thing. we cannot allow exclusions, cpa aps for out of pocket expenses. these are things that have widespread agreement among everyone. the problem is, we cannot just do this in isolation. we cannot say the insurance companies need to cover all the sick people, but not the young
and healthy. the biggest block of those not covered are the young and healthy people, they are offered coverage, but they turned it down. the way you balance and on the risk pool without greatly increasing the cost for everyone else is getting the young and help the people in the system, as you make sure that you are not dropped. host: in the "washington times" gop senators vote no on reconciliation. guest: i do not know why we
would want to make it more complicated. most of them is coming from the senate, but we have passed the student loan bill and house. they are unable to get the votes right now. i cannot imagine it being more difficult. host: william on the republican line. asheville, north carolina. caller: i have a question. i am 73 years old. i hear something that is how often been said, and that after you reach a certain age, they will withhold your medical care and give you death counseling on certain issues. is that in the bill? guest: no, it is not.
this is something that came up after then-governor sarah palin put on her facebook page. there is nothing like that. what is is counseling regarding end of life care, which happens every day. families need to know what their options are. every day, thousands of families seek counseling for the end of life care, the will, power of attorney. that counseling is currently not reimbursable under medicare, but the house is saying that it can be under medicare. it is not forcing anyone to do it, and certainly, not forcing any of come on you. -- outcome on you.
host: next phone call from pittsburgh. independent line. caller: the only question is, the you love the insurance company that rip you off, or do you want the people to have 100% health care? in pennsylvania there is legislation coming up which would establish a single payer health care program. health insurance companies would be eliminated. instead of premiums, it would be similar to social security and medicare. some of that would be withheld from your check. it is very simple.
your house judiciary committee has completed an independent investigation conducted with thoroughness by a special task force on our committee chaired by adam schiff, with much distinction. i also thank his co-chair, bob goodlatte, and hank johnson, the subcommittee chair on judiciary from which this matter arose. members of the house, our investigation has demonstrated that judge porteous has engaged in misconduct in various spheres of his public life, spanning decades. his misconduct is described in detail and the report filed by
our committee which is available to any member that wishes a copy. and our committee has subsequently voted unanimously to recommend four articles of impeachment. our chair of the impeachment task force, adam schiff, is going to expand on the details, but since so many members want time, i just want to make this opening comment. the department of justice and the judicial conference have determined that judge porteous had clearly committed serious misconduct in various spheres of his personal and professional life. the judicial conference referred the matter to the
house for possible impeachment. the fifth circuit suspended him from sitting on the bench. and this committee through a specially appointed task force has thoroughly and independently investigated the facts. held also detailed factual hearings relating to the judge's misconduct in connection with his relationships with lawyers, in connection with his personal bankruptcy filing, and his relationship with bail bondsmen. in adigs -- additionally, testimony was included from experts on judicial ethics and on the constitutional standards that surround impeachment. so the four separate articles
before us today are laid out in detail and includes a variety of offenses that we will go into shortly. the misconduct i am sorry to say easily satisfies the constitutional standard of being high crimes and misdemeanor, and clearly renders the person, the judge, unfit to continue service. i bring this resolution to the floor with regret that we are called upon to take this action. but i have no doubt that we must take action. the grounds for impeachment are overwhelmingly established and therefore i urge my colleagues
careful consideration in support of the resolution. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. smith: mr. speaker, we are here today to consider and vote on four articles of impeachment against united states district judge, g. thomas porteous. thanks go to congressman schiff and congressman goodlatte for the way they have worked together in overseeing the impeachment task force's very thorough inquiry into a number of serious allegations involving judge porteous. they have set an outstanding example of how an inquiry like this can, in fact, be conducted in a bipartisan manner. the constitution grants the house of representatives the sole power to impeach a sitting
federal judge. this is a very serious power which congress did not take lightly. impeachment by the house constitutes one of the few checks on the judiciary and is to be used only in instances when a judge betrays his office or proves unfit to hold that position of trust. in fact, only 14 federal judges have been impeached by the house in our entire nation's history, with four of these occurring in the past 24 years. after an extensive investigation and a series of hargs by impeachment task force, clear and convincing evidence had been developed involving a number of different actions by judge porteous that make him unpit to serve -- unfit to serve as a federal judge. the report which accompanies the articles of impeachment sets forth in detail the various incidents of improper conduct by judge porteous. though judges rule on the law, they are not above the law.
to preserve equality and fairness in our constitutional democracy, we must protect the integrity of the courts. it is clear that judge porteous' actions are in violation of the american people's trust and a the threat to the integrity of the federal bench. the american people deserve better from their federal judges. i also hope our vote today sends a message of encouragement to the great majority of judges who serve our nation with distinction. we will not let a few bad actors mar the reputation of others on the federal bench. the time has come for the house of representatives to conclude that judge porteous' conduct has made him unworthy to serve on the federal bench. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves the wall of his time. the gentleman from michigan -- reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i recognize adam schiff, who was our task force chairman, who had ample time
over these many months to display his legislative and judicial skills. i yield him as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman. i want to commend the leadership of chairman conyers in bringing this matter to conclusion here on the house floor and for all your leadership in the committee, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, today he we again find ourselves in the regrettable circumstance where we must act to remove a federal judge from the bench. the task before us is not one we would welcome, however it is an important responsibility entrusted to us by the founders and one that we cannot shrink from. unlike elected officials who may be removed periodically by the voters or serve a term that comes to an end, founding fathers provided only one stroort method of removing a federal judge, that of impeachment, which has only been used 14 times in our
nation's history. regrettably before us today warrants its use again. the house of representatives directed the house jerk task force on judicial impeachment to -- judiciary committee task force on judicial impeachment, to inquire if he should be impeached. it provided the members of the house with a procedural history of the matter and overview of the facts. i want to thank the members of the tafpk force that worked on the matter and in particular the ranking member, bob goodlatte, for his extraordinary work. together we have tried to ensure that we proceed in a fair, open, and deliberate manner. and this has been done in a bipartisan, really nonpartisan basis. g. thomas porteous jr. was appointed in 1994 and served in the new orleans courthouse in the eastern district of louisiana. after multiyear f.b.i. and federal grand jury investigation, the department of justice in may of 2007 submitted a complaint referring allegations of judicial
misconduct. the complaint noted that the department had determined not to seek criminal charges for reasons including the statute of limitations and other factors impacting prosecution, but the complaints stated that the investigation uncovered evidence of pervasive misconduct and evidence that judge porteous may have violated federal and state criminal laws, controlling cannons of judicial conduct, rules of professional responsibility, and conducted himself in a manner antithetical to the constitutional standard of good behavior required of all federal judges. after an extensive disciplinary proceeding in the fifth circuit court of appeals in which judge porteous representing himself made statements, cross-examinationed witnesses, and called witnesses on his own behalf, the judicial conference of the united states voted unanimously to refer this matter to the house of representatives based on substantial evidence of conduct that individually and collectively brought disrepute to the federal judiciary. the fifth circuit also moved to
take the maximum disciplinary action allowed by law against judge porteous suspending him two years or until congress takes final action on the impeachment proceedings. as a part of our initial investigation, impeachment task force staff interviewed over 65 individuals, deposed about 25 witnesses under oath, obtained documents from various sources including from witnesses, the 24th judicial court in jefferson parish, louisiana, and the department of justice. after the initial investigateor phase -- investigatory phase, the task force held four separate evidentiary hearings in november and december of 2009 to determine whether judge porteous' conduct provides a sufficient basis for impeachment and develop a record upon which to recommend whether to adopt articles of impeachment. our first hearing focused on allegations of misconduct in relation to judge porteous presiding over the case of liljeberg enterprises. the record reflects that he was
engaged in a corrupt kickback scheme with the law firm of amato and creely that he failed to disclose his relationship with the firm and denied a motion to recuse himself from the case despite the firm's representation of one of the parties. the kickback scheme involved appointing mr. creely as a curator in hundreds of cases with fees amounting to about $40,000 paid to amato and creely. approximately half of which was then paid back to judge porteous. judge porteous made intentionally misleading statements. after recusal hearing intended to minimize the extent of his relationship with the firm. the record also reflects that judge porteous engaged in corrupt conduct after the bench trial and while the case was under advisement by soliciting and accepting things of value from attorneys at the firm, including $2,000 in cash. this corrupt relationship and his conduct as a federal judge brought his court into scandal and disrepute and demonstrate he is unfit for office. our investigation also
uncovered evidence that his solicitation and acceptance of things from creely and amato were not isolated events limited to two attorneys but a pattern of using his perch on the federal bench to extract and receive things of value from attorneys and parties in front of him. our second hearing focused on allegations that judge porteous repeatedly made false and misleading statements, including concealment of debts, underwrote and in disregard of a bankruptcy court's orts. the record reflects as a federal judge he knowingly and intentionally made material false statements and representations under penalty of perjury and repeatedly violated a court order in this case. this included using a false name and post office box to conceal his identity as a debtor in the case, concealing assets, the preferential payments to certain creditors, and gambling losses and debts, as well as incuring new debts while the case was pending all in violation of the court's order. .
our investigation included his efforts to conceal his financial situation and the extent to his gambling over the years. taken together it's clear that his false statements in the false bankruptcy hearings was not an oversight or mistake but to conceal his financial affairs and gambling. our third hearing focused on allegations that judge porteous was in a corrupt relationship with a bondsman louis marcotte and his wife, lori. judge porteous solicited and received numerous things of value, including meals, trips, home and car repairs for his personal use and benefit while at the same time taking official actions on behalf of the marcottes. this included setting, reducing and splitting bonds for the marcottes while on the state bench and improperly setting aside or expunging felony convictions for two marcotte employees. he used the power and prestige of his office to assist the marcottes in forming relationships with other state judicial officers and others.
judge porteous also knew and understood that louis marcotte made false statements to the f.b.i. in an effort to assist his appointment to the federal bench. at a fourth and final hearing, we received testimony from a panel of constitutional scholars on where his -- he had sufficient base for impeachment. he made false material statements to his past in connection with his nomination to the federal bench in order to conceal corrupt relationships. in addition, judge porteous knew that another individual made false statements to the f.b.i. in an effort to assist his appointment to the federal bench. his failure to disclose those rupt relationships deprive the u.s. our panel of experts testified that such behavior clearly constitutes impeachable conduct. i'd like to note that the task force invited judge porteous to
testify, but he declined our offer. in addition, the task force afforded the opportunity for judge porteous and his counsel to request the task force hear from a witness or witnesses that they wish to call. judge porteous' counsel informed the task force that they did not wish to avail themselves of that opportunity. the task force permitted judge porteous and counsel to participate in our hearings. on behalf of his client, he was permitted to question the witnesses. this was an extraordinary prerogative that was granted to counsel. our proceeding today does not constitute a trial. as the constitutional power to try impeachment resides in the senate. rather, the house's rule is to inquire whether judge porteous' conduct provides a sufficient basis for impeachment. according to leading common fators, there are two broad categories of conduct that have been recognized as justifying impeachment, serious abuse of power and conduct that demonstrates that an official is unable to fill the office that he or she holds.
after concluding that the full record establishes that judge porteous should be impeemedpeached for high crimes and misdemeanor -- impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, there was four articles of impeachment submitted by the judiciary committee. the house jewish voted unanimous -- the house judiciary committee voted unanimously and submitted h.res. 103 is to the full house. a 147-page report has been filed. mr. speaker, judge porteous engaged in a pattern of conduct that is incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him as a federal judge. his longstanding pattern of corrupt conduct, lacking as does in honesty or integrity, demonstrates his unfitness to serve as a u.s. district court judge. his material false statements about his past made knowingly to both the u.s. senate and to the f.b.i. in order to obtain his federal office deprived the senate and the public of information that would have had
a material impact on his confirmation. accordingly, i urge the house to approve the articles of impeachment included in house resolution 1031. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: i yield seven minutes to mr. goodlatte, who is the ranking member of the impeachment task force. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for seven minutes. mr. goodlatte: thank you. i want to thank our ranking member, the gentleman from texas, for yielding me the time and for his active engagement in support of moving this process forward. article 3 of the constitution provides that federal judges are appointed for life and that they shall hold their offices during good behavior. indeed, the framers knew that an independent judiciary free of political motivations was necessary to the fair resolution of disputes and the fair administration of our laws. however, the framers were also
practicing mattists and had the foresight to include the checks of the use of the independence in power that comes with a judicial appointment. article 1, section 2, clause 5 of the constitution grants the house of representatives the sole power of impeachment. this is a very serious power that should not be undertaken lightly. indeed, it is a rare and solemn occasion when the house of representatives must vote on articles of impeachment against a federal judge. today's vote will mark the only second time in over 20 years that this has occurred. however, when the evidence emerges that an individual is abusing his judicial office for his own advantage, the integrity of the judicial system becomes compromised. and the house of representatives has the duty to investigate the matter and take the appropriate actions to end the abuse and restore confidence in the judicial system. on june 17, 2008, the judicial conference of the united states certified to the house of representatives that
consideration of impeachment of u.s. district judge g. thomas porteous may be warranted. this certification was the culmination of an investigation and formal complaint by the department of justice. a final report appointed by the judicial circuit and consideration and vote by the judicial conference of the united states. in september, 2008, the house passed a resolution instructing the judiciary committee to further investigation whether judge porteous should be impeached. the task force on judicial impeachment was then created by the house judiciary committee to further investigate the matter. the task force conducted an exhaustive investigation working with law enforcement and judicial officials conduct ducting numerous interviews, taking depositions from key witnesses, gathering evidence and transcripts from previous investigations and conducting
congressional hearings. those efforts have uncovered a large amount of information, including much new evidence that was not uncovered in previous investigations. the evidence shows that among other instances of misconduct while on the federal bedge, judge porteous refused to recuse himself from a federal case when he had previously engaged in a corrupt kickback scheme with the attorneys representing the defense, that he later took thousands of dollars in cash from those same attorneys while the case was still pending, that he took gifts from a bail bondsman in exchange for granting favorable bond rates for him and then improperly expunge the records of the two of the bail bondsman's employees, one, after porteous was confirmed by the senate to be a federal judge, that he used his influence as a judge to have the marcottes create relationships, violate a
bankruptcy court order mandating that he not incur further debt. and that he made false statements to the senate and the f.b.i. during his confirmation process. based on the evidence gathered on january 21, 2010, i joined with chairman conyers, ranking member smith and task force chairman schiff to introduce house resolution 1031, which contains four separate articles of impeachment against judge porteous. the details of these articles have been discussed already today. it is important to note that every member of the task force on judicial impeachment joined as an original co-sponsor of these articles. furthermore, these articles of impeachment were reported from the judiciary committee with unanimous vote of 24-0, a very rare occurrence. it is my strong recommendation that the members of the house now support these articles of impeachment against judge porteous. it is important to note that during the task force investigation, judge porteous was invited to come testify but
declined this invitation. his attorney was also invited to attend the hearings, was given the privilege of asking questions of the witnesses at the hearings and was offered the opportunity to bring forth witnesses on behalf of judge porteous. i would like to take this opportunity to thank adam schiff, the chairman of the task force of judicial impeachment, for his leadership in this effort, along with all of the members of the task force on both sides of the aisle. as ranking member of the impeachment task force, i appreciate the fact that this effort was undertaken in a nonpartisan fashion. i'd like to also thank chairman conyers and ranking member smith for their comprehensive yet expeditious consideration of these articles of impeachment in the full judiciary committee. and i'd also like to extend additional thanks to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner, who is the only member of the task force who participated in the last series of impeachment of federal judges back in the 1980's. his experience and knowledge has been invaluable as well. i urge my colleagues in the
house not in a bipartisan manner but in a nonpartisan manner to join in supporting all four of these articles of impeachment and send this measure to the united states senate for trial. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, how much time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan has 15 minutes. the gentleman from texas has 22 minutes. mr. conyers: i yield to the distinguished the gentlelady from houston, texas, sheila jackson lee, ranking member of this committee, as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for as much time as she may consume. ms. jackson lee: thank you. i ask to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker,
this sin deed a sad day and a sol -- this is indeed a sad day and solemn day. as indicated by my colleagues on the floor of the house, however, it is an obligation of this body. i'd like to acknowledge the chairman of the impeachment task force, congressman schiff, for his leadership but also for his balance and temperament in a very serious challenge that we have in providing the guidepost -- the moral guidepost for a number of tough issues that deal with our federal judiciary and a number of other instances where impeachment is in fact the authority of this body and the constitution. i'd like to acknowledge the ranking member, mr. goodlatte, the chairman of the full committee, mr. conyers, and his ranking member, mr. smith. this is an instance where you would have hoped that we would have had a different outcome. but as my colleagues have so
articulately expressed, there was a long pattern that many of us found very disturbing. judge mr. thomas: -- judge thomas porteous began this without reprove while he was a state judge, soliciting and accepting cash and other things of value from attorneys practicing before him and failing to recuse himself from a prominent case on which those attorneys were involved. as a state judge, repeatedly accepting things of value from bail bondsman, in exchange for setting bonds at levels to increase profits for the bail bondsman and after becoming a federal judge, assisting them in forming prompt relationships with other state judges. the pattern continued. as a federal judge fraudulently consealing in his personal bankruptcy, income, assets, gambling activities, gambling debts, and in violation of court order, incurring
additional gambling debt while his bankruptcy proceeding was pending. fraudulently consealing in his f.b.i. background check and on his civic questionnaire the corrupt relationships with the attorneys and bail bondsman. i think it's worth noting that judge port yes, sir began his career as a state court judge. but after the concealment of these activities he was then nominated to the federal bunch. in the essence of being nominated, let me be very clear, one could have personally taken ones dl elf out of the run -- oneself out of the running. but no time during the time that his nomination was put before the president of the united states the united states senate did judge porteous think that his previous behavior did not warrant him ascending to the federal bench. that sadens me. maybe we need to -- that
saddens me. maybe we should look more. maybe they need that to understand the flaws or failures in their character or performance. again, fraudulently concealing in his f.b.i. background check and questionnaire the corrupt relationships with the attorneys and bail bondsman, evidence that the committee was able to see when questions was ask whether there was anything in your background that would warrant you not being appointed to the federal bench, this judge did not answer truthfully. the fifth circuit attempted to reprimand and their complaint indicated that the department of justice, rather, the complaint indicated that the instances of judge porteous' dishonesty in his own sworn statements and court filings, his decade long court conduct in soliciting and accepting a stream of payments and gifts from litigants and lawyers with matters before him and his repeated failure to show those
things is unfit as an article 3 judge that is a federal judge. they did not seek criminal charges for reasons that deals with partly the statute of limitations. the complaint indicated that his actions would render him unfit as an article 3 judge. the. -- the fifth circuit took to take the maximum disciplinary action, suspending him for two years or until congress takes final action on the impeachment proceedings. . as we asked through the task force for the opportunity for judge porteous to have due process, have the opportunity to speak before the task force, in the alternative to allow him to allow him to give witnesses, none of that was accepted. today i rise on the floor of the house to accept the
findings of our task force and the vote of our committee in full and ask this body to address the concern by sending this to the united states senate for hearings on impeachment. this is a resolution to suggest that the articles of impeachment should be passed to the united states senate under our constitutional process. again, this is a sad day and a solemn day, but sadly this indicates that a behavior of an individual who has achieved one of the highest offices in the land, and that is of the article 3 courts, judge for life, on the federal bench, deserves, if you will, to be recommended for impeachment. i ask for a vote of yes on the resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. sensenbrenner, former chairman of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for five minutes. mr. sensenbrenner: thank you. before i begin i demand a
division of the question for a separate vote on each of the fourth articles of impeachment. the speaker pro tempore: the question isdy visible and will be divided by vote and article. mr. sensenbrenner: mr. speaker, both task force on judicial impeachment and the full judiciary committee unanimously adopted and reported out house resolution 1031. the overwhelming support for this resolution is indicative of the weight of evidence supporting the four articles of impeachment against judge g. thomas porteous. impeaching a federal jug is not something that the house of representatives takes lightly. an impeachment proceedings are not something we consider too often around here, by my count this is only the 20th time that the house of representatives will impeach a civil officer under the constitution. and these tasks are not pleasant. we need to do them from time to time. it is our responsibility as members of the house of representatives, and i have been involved in a number of
impeachment proceedings over the years, never before have i seen the overwhelming and blatant corruption we have before us here today. judge porteous is one of a kind, and it is time for him to receive his couple upance -- come umsance. the f.b.i. has spent years of investigating the wrong does by this judge. after their investigation the judicial conference of the united states unanimously reported to refer this matter to the united states house of representatives. in addition to the justice department's investigation, the staff of our impeachment task force conducted a systematic investigation. this investigation resulted in four evidentiary hearings over the course of five days last year, and it culminated in the full judiciary committee unanimously voting to approve four articles of impeachment against judge porteous. the impeachment task force hearings laid out overwhelming corruption orchestrated by
judge porteous. my colleagues on the task force have detailed the specific actions taken by judge porteous, but i think it is worthwhile to focus on a few of them. judge porteous was engaged in a crooked kickback scheme with his bodies at the law firm of amato and creely. the firm received tens of thousands of dollars in curator fees and they kicked back about half of it to the judge. the kickback scheme wasn't the only shady dealing judge porteous engaged with with amato and creely. he was so emboldened he would solicit gifts and cash while sitting on the bench. sometimes he accepted trips, other days it was an expensive lunch or dinner. on another occasion creely helped pay for the judge's son's bachelor party in las vegas. he didn't just solicit from amato and creely, but also from others with business before his court. with this information alone, there should be no question about his blatant ethical lapses, rendering him unfit to serve on the federal bench.
but there is more. judge porteous made false and misleading statements under the penalty of perjury with regard to his debts and bankruptcy proceedings. he misrepresented his name on court filings and used a post office box to conceal his identity. he also attempted to conceal assets and violated court rules. while it's sad to say these actions almost seem knock with us compared to his other actions and corrupt relationships. our tash?á(q spent a day focusing our attention on judge porteous' relationship with a bail bondsman named louis marcotte and his sister. this included testimony about the judge soliciting meals and trips like he did with the lawyers, but also other things of value such as auto and home repairs. in return, judge porteous assisted the marcottes. judge porteous had the opportunity to testify before the task force, but he chose not to participate in the
proceedings. the entirety of the record by the task force plainly shows the pattern of unethical conduct that is not worthy of a federal judge. the evidence demonstrates he clearly abused his office. then had complete disregard for the laws that he took an oath to uphold. soon the ownous will fall on the senate to hold the trial. the clock is ticking. and it's important this trial take place promptly. judge porteous' suspension is set to expire in september, making him eligible to return to the bench. it is imperative that the senate act expeditiously to ensure that this corrupt judge does not resume his perch on the federal bench and preside again. i urge my colleagues to join me in voting to impeach judge g. thomas porteous on each of the four articles of impeachment. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i reserve.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise, a member of congress who has taken an active interest in this case. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for three minutes. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. i rise in support of the resolution to impeach u.s. district judge thomas porteous, who is a judge representing the eastern district of louisiana. i want to thank representative schiff of california, goodlatte of virginia, chairman conyers of michigan, and ranking member smith of texas and the entire judiciary committee and task force for their diligent investigation and for keeping this a priority in your committee. after i read through all four articles of impeachment, it is clear that the task force's findings warrant judge porteous' removal from the federal bench. in order to remove the cloud that exists, we need to pass this resolution so the eastern district of louisiana can once again provide the citizens a
justice system free from corruption. it is important that we pass this resolution today and that the senate takes this up in a time frame that doesn't allow judge porteous to return to the bench as would be the case in september if no further action is taken. passing this resolution will be yet another shot across the bough and a strong reminder -- bow and a strong reminder to everyone in public office we will not tolerate corruption. and that we will maintain a zero tolerance policy against public corruption at every level of government. since katrina, we have been vigilant against corruption at all levels of government in south louisiana. from members of congress to our local levee boards, louisiana is rebuilding the way our government works and we have made a commitment to upholding a zero tolerance policy against public corruption at every level. this resolution reiterates that our commitment is not just in word but in tough action. following hurricane katrina, those of us who vowed to rebuild the new orleans region both structurally and
politically, didn't just want to simply rebuild the same old broken system that existed before the storm. in fact, we committed to rebuild better. part of that better new orleans includes reforming the old corrupt system of the past. corruption might be a part of louisiana's past, but it's no longer acceptable behavior for our future. i urge my colleagues to pass this resolution and also urge the senate to move swiftly in carrying out justice. a number of times i have urged judge porteous to resign from the bench and i would still encourage him to do that, but short of that, senate action in a swift time frame is necessary. help us usher in a new day in louisiana. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coble, a distinguished and senior member of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. coble: i thank my friend, the distinguished gentleman from texas, for having yield. it has been said time and again today, mr. speaker, and i reiterate it, it is indeed a sad day today. hopefully none of us takes great glee in another's misfortune. but it appears regarding the case at hand we have little or no choice. the issue of ethics has become a permanent issue and the american citizenry justifiably insists -- strike that. the american citizenry justifiably insists as well as demands that high office holders practice high ethical
standards. in this case it appears clear that the judge did indeed violate the oath of his office. he violated the trust in which the public extended to him. i know of no greater office than that of the united states federal judge. people clamor for it. they fight for it, to get on that bench. once on the bench, i think we are justified in insisting they comply ethical accordingly. the house judiciary committee as you know is the committee of jurisdiction on impeachment matters. nothing gleeful about it, but we discharge our duties. and i thank everyone on the floor for having spoken on this resolution and i urge its passage. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: continue to
reserve, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, we have no other individuals who are prepared to speak at this point on this side. i am prepared to close if the chairman of the judiciary committee has no other speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: no further speakers, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. smith: today's vote on the articles of impeachment against judge porteous is necessary to ensure justice is applied to a corrupt federal judge. when a judge is given a lifetime appointment, it is a tremendous honor and responsibility. they serve the ideals of justice. but when a judge abuses this authority, they must be held accountable for any violation of those same principles of justice. congress has an obligation to put an end to judge porteous'
abuse of authority and remove him from the bench. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of each of the four articles of impeachment being considered today and help restore integrity to the federal bench. i also hope the senate will act quickly to conduct the trial of judge porteous. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i want to commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the very thoughtful discussion that has gone on around this matter. . and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back the baffle his time. all time having been yielded back, the chair will divide the motion among the four articles of impeachment. the question is on resolving the first article of impeachment. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it.
mr. coble: mr. speaker, on that i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote will be followed by five-minute votes, if order, on resolving each of the three succeeding articles and motions to suspend the rules with regard to house resolution 1107 and house resolution 1047, if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-páf"ttap:u
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 412. the nays are zero. with zero answering present. the first article is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the question is on resolving the second article of impeach. . so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. sensenbrenner: i demand a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute this will be a five-minute vote.
vote the yeas are 410 the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 410, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the question is on the third article of impeachment. all those in favor say aye. those owed say no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> i demand a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a vorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their vote by electronic device.
vote the yeas are 416 and the nays are zero with zero answering present. the third article is adopted. without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the question is on resolving the fourth article of impeachment. all those in favor say aye. those opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, the ace have it. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin. >> on that i demand a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vot@@
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 423, the nays are zero with zero answering present. the fourth article is adopted and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the minority leader rise? mr. boehner: i send to the desk a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: whereas on march 8, 2010, representative eric massa resigned -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order.
members will take their seats. members will cease all conversations or remove conversations to the cloakroom. the clerk will continue. the clerk: whereas on march 8, 2010, representative eric massa resigned from the house, whereas numerous newspapers and other media organizations reported in the days before and after mr. massa's resignation that the committee on standards of official conduct was investigating alingtses that mr. massa sexually harrised members of his congressional staff, whereas on march 3, 2010, majority leader hoyer's office issued a statement saying the week of february 8, a member of representative massa's staff brought to the attention of mr. hoyer's staff allegations of misconduct that he -- that had
been made against mr. massa. mr. hoyer's staff immediately informed him of what they had been told. whereas on thursday, march 4, "roll call" newspaper reported speaker nancy pelosi said she only learned wednesday of misconduct allegations against freshman representative eric massa, though her staff had learned of it earlier and decided against breeching her. there had been a rumor pelosi told reporters. a one, two, three person rumor that had been reported to mr. hoyers a -- hoyer's office which my staff did not report to me, because you know what? this is rumor city. there are rumors. whereas on march 1 is, -- 11, 2010, "the washington post" reported, house speaker nancy pelosi's office was notified in october by then representative eric massa's top aide of concerns about the new york democrat's behavior. whereas on march 11, 2010, "politico" newspaper reported democratic inside -- insiders say pelosi's office took no
action after the concerns were expressed about then boss in october. whereas on march 9, 2010, a newspaper reported, hoyer said last week he told massa to inform the house ethics committee of the charges within 48 hours. steny hoyer has never said a single word to me, never, not once, not a word, massa said sunday. this is a lie. it is a blatant false statement. . whereas numerous confusing and conflicting media reports that house democratic leaders knew about and may have failed to handle appropriately allegations that representative massa was sexually harassing his own employees have raised serious and legitimate questions about what speaker pelosi as well as other democratic leaders and their respective staffs were told. and what those individuals did with the information in their possession. whereas the aforementioned media accounts have held the house up to public ridicule.
whereas the possibility that house democratic leaders may have failed to immediately confront representative massa about allegations of sexual harassment may have exposed employees and interns of representative massa to continued harassment. whereas clause 1 of rule 23 of the rules of the house of representatives, title code of conduct states, a member, delegate, resident commission, officer, or employee of the house shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibly on the house. whereas the committee on standards of official conduct is charged under house rules with enforcing the code of conduct. therefore be it resolved, one, the committee on standards of official conduct is directed to investigate fully pursuant to clause 3-a-2 of house rule 11 which house democratic leaders and members of the respective staffs had knowledge prior to march 3, 2010, of the aforementioned allegations concerning mr. massa and what actions each leader and staffer having such -- any such
knowledge took after learning of the allegations. two, within 10 days following adoption of this resolution, and pursuant to committee on standards of official conduct rule 19, the committee shall establish an investigative subcommittee of the aforementioned matter or report to the house no later than the final day of that period the reasons for its failure to do so. three, all members and staff are instructed to cooperate fully in the committee's investigation and to preserve all records, electronic or otherwise, that may bear on the subject of this investigation. four, the chief administrative officer shall immediately take all steps necessary to secure and prevent the alteration or deletion of any emails, text messages, voice mails, and other electronic records resident on house equipment that have been sent or received by the members and staff who are the subjects of the investigation. authorized under this resolution until advised by the committee on standards of official conduct that it has no
need of any portion of said records. and five, the committee shall issue a final report of its findings and recommendations in this matter no later than june 30, 2010. the speaker pro tempore: the resolution presents a question of privilege. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> mr. speaker, i move the resolution be referred to the committee on standards of official conduct. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. clyburn: mr. speaker, this is a matter that properly belongs before the committee on standards of official conduct. i yield back the balance of my time. and move the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the previous question is ordered. mr. boehner: i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: members will record their votes by electronic device. a recorded vote is requested.
those favoring the vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]